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by on May 13, 2014

Hold People Accountable

It is easy to give quick forgiveness to persons who have no intentions of mending their ways. Personal forgiveness is important. It is important to not hold personal grudges and bitterness. But, to give quick and easy forgiveness is not always healthy for the offender. It does not require accountability of them.

I. Paul to Peter
Even Barnabas got caught up in Peter’s hypocrisy. Paul withstood Peter face to face because he was to be blamed. It is not wrong to hold people accountable – even powerful people like Peter. Peter was actually Paul’s superior in the sense of seniority. Paul, however, sensed the gravity of the situation and needed to step in and correct a potentially destructive development in the early Church.
Galatians 2

II. Joseph to brothers
Joseph proved his brothers when they came to him in Egypt. He knew them but they not did know him. Joseph took the opportunity to prove them to see if they had learned lessons in the years following their abuse of him. He also proved them by seeing how they would treat Benjamin. When he was satisfied that they had repentant hearts, he then disclosed himself and made peace between them. He even counseled them not to fall out by the way as they went home to get their father.
Genesis 45

III. Paul to those who put them in prison.
But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”
Acts 16:37

Forgiveness granted without accountability is not really forgiveness at all. It merely covers over a lack of integrity. Fruits “meet for repentance” is what God expects of all of us. That is where God will meet us. We are all alike at the foot of the cross.

If there is someone in your life who is making false accusations and/or covering over sins with hasty, good-sounding words and or gossiping; hold them accountable. You may be the only way for them to meet the God of justice. You may be their only path to freedom. God may have placed you there for such a time as this. You may be the Paul or Joseph that they need to face their own sinful ways. You may be the one who “saves a soul from death.” You may be the one to bring healing to their life.

Hold people accountable.

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